Concert Reviews

Soto Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 14, 2019    
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Soto - Rebellion, Manchester (UK) - 02 September 2019

Jeff Scott Soto is a very busy man. He is involved in several musical projects (W.E.T., Sons Of Apollo, Trans Siberian Orchestra), but has still found the time for a short European tour to promote his own band's recent 'Origami' album. Manchester is the first date of the tour and it was disappointing to see a meagre turnout for what proved to be an energetic and entertaining run through some new material and more established favourites.

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A slightly delayed start (Jeff was suffering from a bit of jet lag) meant that the set was a little shorter than planned, but there was no doubting everyone's commitment to the performance, despite the audience size. The opening one/two of 'Hypermania' and 'Freakshow' proved to be the template for the rest of the show and there was no let-up in intensity, emphasized by Jeff's soaking wet Lakers shirt. It is difficult to select highlights because the quality levels never dipped throughout the ninety-minute set. The 'One Love'/'Watch The Fire'/'Learn To Live Again' W.E.T. medley was a nice touch and the 'Crazy'/'Frozen' hybrid was followed by an atmospheric version of Michael Jackson's 'Give In To Me'. The 'Inside The Vertigo' songs 'Wrath' and 'The Fall' were perfect for a small sweaty club and gave lead guitarist Jorge Salan the perfect opportunity to demonstrate how versatile and skilful a player he is.

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Since the band's last visit to the UK, bass player David "Dave Z" Zablidowsky was tragically killed in a roadside accident while touring with Adrenaline Mob. He is a tough act to follow, but it seems Tony Dickinson has now made the role his own and his stage presence and playing have become a great asset. Drummer Edu Cominato and second guitarist BJ may be unassuming in their approach, but there is no denying their talents and how essential they are to the Soto sound. Several songs from Jeff's solo albums were included (thankfully the sound levels drowned out my 'Eyes Of Love' backing vocals) and unsurprisingly Talisman's 'I'll Be Waiting' was greeted like a long lost relative before 'Stand Up', from the 'Rockstar' soundtrack, brought things to a close.

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It may have been the opening night, but the band were way tighter than should have been expected, merely highlighting the quality of the musicianship. A rainy Monday night in Manchester should really have been a Saturday night and I think then the crowd size may have been greater. None the less, Soto played as though it was an arena and such a professional attitude can only be commended. There were no fancy stage gimmicks or theatrics, just a proper Rock night, and though the sound may have been a little muddy and erratic at times this failed to temper everyone's enthusiasm. Fantastic songs, fantastic performances, fantastic show.

Review and photos by Dave Bott

Soto Live 2019 3

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